PSA 1972 pp 3-5 | Cite as

Space, Time and Matter: The Foundations of Geometrodynamics

Introductory Remarks
  • Adolf Grünbaum
Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science book series (BSPS, volume 20)


At the 1960 International Philosophy of Science Congress, J. A. Wheeler gave a synoptic paper entitled ‘Curved Empty Space-Time as the Building Material of the Physical World’. In this paper, Wheeler (1962a) posed the following question (p. 361):

Is space-time only an arena ithin which fields and particles move about as ‘physical’ and ‘foreign’ entities? Or is the four-dimensional continuum all there is? Is curved empty geometry a kind of magic building material out of which everything in the physical world is made: (1) slow curvature in one region of space describes a gravitational field; (2) a rippled geometry with a different type of curvature somewhere else describes an electromagnetic field; (3) a knotted-up region of high curvature describes a concentration of charge and mass-energy that moves like a particle? Are fields and particles foreign entities immersed in geometry, or are they nothing but geometry?


Gravitational Field Physical World Dynamical Geometry Session Chairman Tromagnetic Field 
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht-Holland 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adolf Grünbaum
    • 1
  1. 1.University of PittsburghUSA

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